We have found sunny weather again. Temperature is 58 degrees. The air is fresh!!!!
We drove south through the Finnish countryside from the Norwegian border. It's getting warmer, sunnier, greener, more beautiful.
We're in the Lapland region of Finland. It is the northernmost region, a sparsely populated area bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. It is known for its vast subarctic wilderness, ski resorts and natural phenomena including the midnight sun and the Northern Lights.
Finland is a peninsula with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west separating it from Sweden. The population is 5.5 million. It is a parliamentary republic (so no King or Queen) with a central government in Helsinki.
Some interesting facts:
Santa Claus has an office in the North of Finland.
Donald Duck cartoons were banned from TV because he doesn't wear pants.
There are 188,000 lakes and 98,000 islands in Finland.
There are 1.8 million saunas in Finland.
Finland has two official languages-Finnish and Swedish.
We're staying in Ivalo for 2 nights. It is located in a valley between gently rolling land, close to gold-panning rivers. It is also the home country of the reindeer herding Sami's or Lapps (the indiginous people). The Sami's have their own language and many of the road signs are in Sami, Finnish and Swedish. We will visit the Sami tomorrow.